Carol Leifer on the LAM

Carol Leifer came out at 40, got Bat Mitzvahed at 45, and adopted a son at 50. Now she has a new book that explains why the hard-to-pigeonhole comic is just along for the ride.




For example, you went from being married to a man and not wanting kids to adopting your son Bruno at 50 with a woman.I know I'm a much better mother now than I would have been in my 20s or 30s. I want to encourage people with this book to adopt or have children later in life because I've just hit the point in my evolution where I think I can do the best job. And it's amazing what having a child does to a relationship. Lori is the full-time parent of our relationship. As much as I loved her as a person and a partner, I watch her be a mother to our child and think, Boy, did I pick a winner. She's phenomenal. It's really wonderful when you see your partner also be this amazing parent. You just love them that much more.

What makes you a better mother now?I feel I have a better outlook on life. I was always afraid of getting older. I remember when I was a kid, I'd do the math to find out how old I would be in the year 2000, and think, Aggh, I'll be 43, all shriveled up. You think you're formed at 40, but you can still grow and change and become. You can keep evolving as a person. I found the love of my life after 40 -- I didn't know it was going to be a woman, but I still found her. Had a child, got Bat Mitzvahed at 45 and rediscovered my faith, became an animal person. All these wonderful things happened. The whole pace of my life is different. I used to feel that my life ran me. Now -- to borrow a Seinfeld phrase -- I'm mistress of my domain. I know my priorities. I know what's important. Spending time with my son is a non-brainer. If I have to say no to things that maybe before I would have agonized about, it's easy. I care so much less about so much more. I'm not scared of getting older. I love it.

And what about the argument, popular with evangelical Christians, that two moms don't cut it?It's so disappointing when you hear the far right say, "Every child deserves a mom and a dad." Are you living in the world? Where do you get off? I think Bruno is so lucky to have two parents. These states that don't allow gays to adopt, and the children who could be finding great homes, but because of people's bigotry, they don''s the biggest shame in the world. A good parent is a good parent. And Lori is as good a ball player as any guy, so he doesn't need a male figure for sports. We've got that covered. I know we're good parents.

In your book, you say that when it becomes legal to marry, you and Lori will take the plunge. There was a brief window here in California, but you didn't marry. Why not?It was the greatest October of our lives last year. We went to so many gay weddings, it was like living in a wonderland. But I had a feeling that Prop. 8 was going to pass, and I wasn't prepared for that depression. Lori and I are hold-outs. We want to wait for the gold standard of marriage, when marriage is recognized on the federal level -- equal for everybody. Gay marriage will happen, because the younger generation is different. They are going to be writing the rules and those rules are going to be in our favor. The dinosaurs are dying off.

Tags: Books